The ESA’s Rosetta comet orbiter has found complex, solid organic molecules from dust particles on the comet 67P/Churyymov-Gerasimenko.
Scientists reported finding complex, solid organic matter in the dust particles of the comet, according to Nature. The Rosetta was able to collect 27,000 dust particles thanks to its ability to lower its speed.
Scientists presented two particles in a paper published on Nature, named Kenneth and Juliette. “Our analysis reveals carbon in a far more complex form than expected,” remarked Hervé Cottin, one of the authors of the paper, in a statement. “It is so complex, we can’t give it a proper formula or a name!”
Senior author Martin Hilchenbach went on to say “These particles have remained pristine and untouched for billions of years. The results add to the growing picture that Comet 67P/C-G contains some of the most primitive material from our Solar System’s early history.”
The Rosetta comet orbiter was launched on March 2nd 2004 and reached the comet on August 6th 2014. After 12 years its nearing its termination date, on September 30th Rosetta will crash land on the comet.